Balogh, Mary. Then Comes Seduction. New York: Bantam Dell, 2009. ISBN-13: 978-0-440-24423-3. $6.99 USD.
Despite a promising premise, Then Comes Seduction does not provide as much magic as the first book, with a promising premise that was poorly executed. And a major part of where the story falls flat is with the hero and heroine. For the bulk of the book, Katherine is bland and uninteresting, and does not possess the same endearing qualities that made her sister a compelling heroine. While she has her moments of gumption, and she gets props for caring deeply about her family, I did not care find much reason to care about her.
Jasper is slightly better-drawn, especially initially, as some speck of conscience keeps him from following through with his plan to ruin Katherine and win the wager, and later, we see him try his best to be a good brother. But I also found myself rolling my eyes when we find out the “tragic past” that was likely the impetus for his rakish behavior, as it felt cliche and like it had been done before. And the chemistry between Jasper and Katherine feels lacking, especially in comparison to Elliot and Vanessa, and some of Balogh’s other couples.
However, where it fails as a romance, it does work to further develop the story of the Huxtable family. It is incredibly fun to see Con take up a sort of “older brother” role, warning his cousins to stay away from the rakes and reprobates of the ton. And I am eager to see what adventures await the family next, especially as Margaret’s book is next, and she has already sacrificed so much in terms of romance for the sake of her family.